Oxfordshire’s social care workforce

Skills for Care infographic

Skills for Care published several documents recently on the state, size and structure of the social care workforce in England. They make for interesting reading. Some statistical highlights:

  • The latest figures (2013) show that there are between 1.3 to 1.5 million jobs in social care (difference due to extrapolation of National Minimum DataSet figures) – 75% are front-line workers;
  • The independent sector has risen by 180,000 workers since 2010;
  • In the same period people employed through Direct Payments has increased by 45,000.


  • 391,000 started their role in the last 12 months;
  • 62,000 (16%) joined from outside the UK;
  • 28,000 (7%) were not previously employed in the sector.


  • 58,000 (16%) went to children’s sector;
  • 43,000 (13%) went to health;
  • 35,000 (11%) went to retail.

These statistics tell us that there is a high proportion of people needing a good introduction to social care and that almost a third are going on to related sectors (specific rivals – partners?), rather than perceived rivals like retail and other sectors. That is good news – that tells us that people are joining social care and wish to pursue a career in a care-related role. We can do something about that by building a career structure and providing top class training and development that encourages and demands that workers stay with us.

For Oxfordshire, there are an estimated 16,400 jobs in adult social care with the independent sector employing 80% of them in 265 CQC-registered services and many more non-registered services.  NMDS holds information on just 38% of workers. Increasing that number would really help us understand more about our workforce and enable better planning (please register your organisation if not already).

83% of our workforce are female – we’ve been using Twitter to promote #socialcare is #notjustforgirls. With a small pool of available job-seekers in the County we need to find new ways to engage with all demographics.

Lastly, we should be very proud that the average number of sick days was 5 in the last year comparing favourably with the regional average. However, this still adds up to 82,000 days lost across the County. Understanding this will help support employees as well as making us more productive. Anyone interested in bulk purchase of flu jabs?

Our turnover is 24.9% (care staff) and our vacancy rate is 6.6%. We would encourage you to use all tools available to fill these vacancies starting by advertising through us for free.